What does the final scene in Act III reveal about Macbeth's rule?William Shakespeare's "Macbeth"

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Scene 6 of Act III of "Macbeth," Lennox appears to accept Macbeth's version of the various murders, that Fleance killed his father, Banquo and Malcolm and Donalbain killed "their gracious father." However, the reader discerns that Lennox employs verbal irony in his words when he says it was wise of Macbeth to kill the drunken guards who would have denied that the sons of Duncan killed him:

Damned fact!/How it did grieve Macbeth!  Did he not straight,/In pious rage, the two delinquents tear,/That were the slaves of drink and thralls of sleep?/Was that not nobly done? Ay, and wisely too;/For 'twould have angered any heart alive/To hear the men deny 't. (III,vi,14-16)

Lennox goes on to say that Macbeth would show Duncan's sons what it was like to kill a father.  This, too, is an example of verbal irony since Lennox implies that Macbeth would kill the sons, thus demonstrating how the father was killed, not "what it was like" to kill the king.

Finally, after his ironic criticism of Macbeth, Lennox says that a "holy angel" needs to fly to England where Duncan's son is and let him know what a tyrant is so that

a swift blessing/May soon return to this our suffering country/Under a hand accursed! (III,vi,45*49)

Lennox obviously finds Macbeth tyrannical and accursed.